Dressed in costumes for Halloween, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice animal-assisted therapy volunteers brought smiles to patients in New Carlisle and Springfield.
Ginger Stegner and her Labradoodle, Riley; Necole Murphy and her white poodle, Tempie; and Sarah Spradlin and her golden retriever, Tracer, visited patients at four nursing homes as part of Halloween in October.
The team visited 30 patients at Vancrest of New Carlisle, Brookdale Buck Creek, Wooded Glen Health Campus, and Aventura at Oakwood Village. Necole and Tempie dressed in poodle skirts, and Tempie even wore pink clogs for the occasion. Sarah dressed as a ladybug with Tracer as a bumblebee. Ginger went as a scarecrow with Riley in a pumpkin skirt and headband.
“The residents and staff were so excited to see us and our dogs. It made them feel special that we came in on a Saturday as a group dressed in our costumes,” Ginger said. “I wanted to get the dogs together in a group and see the excitement in the residents. We love blessing them with our sweet dogs.”
Ginger has been a volunteer for a year. Necole joined the team three months ago, and Sarah joined two months ago.
“We are grateful for the support from our animal-assisted therapy volunteers,” said Tami Clark, volunteer coordinator at Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice. “The creative, compassionate care they provide makes a difference in the lives of our patients and families.”
To learn more about volunteering as an animal-assisted therapy team at Ohio’s Hospice, please visit: https://www.ohioshospice.org/volunteer/